Written by Maudlyne Ihejirika
A pop-up fresh produce market in Austin; a tech-based, fresh food delivery start-up in Roseland, and a race and health equity focused nonprofit on the Near West Side are among 11 initiatives to improve the health of marginalized communities nationwide being funded by a Social Impact Fund launched by the American Heart Association.
Born and raised in Upstate New York, Liz Abunaw moved to Chicago in 2012 to attend the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business. The 39-year-old entrepreneur was unprepared for the “tale of two cities” she encountered in her first visit to the West Side.
“I had to run an errand that took me to Austin. I hadn’t been that far west before, and it’s when I learned what they mean by Chicago being two cities,” said Abunaw, of West Town.
“Looking for a grocery store, there were none,” said the founder/CEO of Forty Acres Fresh Market, a two-year-old enterprise that started out as a fresh produce pop-up store to bring healthier food options to that food desert.
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